Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Flowers: Late Summer Garden

Summer did not arrive until August this year and it appears to be merging into autumn already. We did have a few hot days which encouraged some growth, particularly of my tomatoes, and with our frequent rains everything has stayed green and fresh. This summer has not been kind to local farmers who needed hot, drier weather for certain crops to develop. We had several tornadoes in southern Ontario last Thursday and some farming regions were heavily damaged. Apple orchards in the Collingwood area were completely destroyed and it will take years before new trees bear fruit. So I shall not complain about weather related imperfections in my garden.

My second crop of raspberries is developing quickly and should keep me in fruit until the first frost. I have yet to pick my first ripe tomato but will likely get fifteen at once when they finally do redden. Clematis seed heads are so interesting that I do not cut them off. I still have a few unopened buds on the vine of my late blooming variety. The spring arugula went to seed and I saved and dried the pods. Today I planted a fall crop which will give me fresh greens until the ground freezes hard sometime in December

We are finally seeing some insect activity with bumblebees and butterflies making a late appearance. The birds prefer to get water from dishes I set in sheltered areas of the garden instead of coming up to the large bird bath. I was delighted to find three Monarch Butterfly caterpillars on the milkweed plants which we have allowed to grow near our composter. This is the first time I have found the larvae in the yard and the first I have found this season. They are very small and I hope they will develop soon enough to make the long journey south. They are now living in a protected container on the deck away from predators and with plenty of fresh leaves.

Our yard will never be featured in a magazine or be on the route of a garden tour, but it is a place of beauty, a source of some of our food, and refuge for a diversity of insects, birds and animals. And that makes it quite perfect for me.


  1. Your garden is marvelous. Nice to have fresh grown anything. I'd be frying those green tomatoes. Nice that you have protected the catapillars. Delightful post and captures Ruth.

  2. The seasons are all confused. Winter started in may, and by mid August, spring is showing signs of coming.

    You have a great garden, For us, gardening "officially starts in Oct." Can't be too greedy and start early. We could get a cold snap.

    Have a good week end, enjoy the rest of the sun.

  3. Haven't been on your blog for a while, because of my move and selling the house, but your pics look great! And so clear - like the pic of your larvae:)

  4. It's definitely a transition time. Mornings are cooler, though afternoons can still be scorching here. I love seeing your yard/garden Ruth. So happy you found some Monarch caterpillars!

  5. Fresh greens until December! Wow! Nothing will grow here after first frost ... which could really be any time now. D says we are heading into a few nice warm days so I'm hoping to eek a bit more out of my garden yet.

  6. These pictures show a place of beauty.Enjoy the fruits of your labor.

  7. Looks like your garden is full of life. The Black Eyed Susie's look fabulous. They are such a great flower to have in a garden.

    Thanks for the garden tour!

  8. A garden is for the delight of the gardener. I love your garden and the way you just take whatever nature hands you. Some of the gardens featured in magazines don't look nearly as inviting as yours.

  9. I thought of you and your blog when we saw a few Monarchs at the cottage. I emphasize a few, and one was pretty small. I wonder if it will be ready for the migration?

  10. That's a heartbreak about the orchards. Beside the purpose of them, they are such lovely places to looks at. And your garden looks divine!

  11. Ruth,

    I know from your posts that you get a lot of enjoyment from your yard and garden. All of your photos that I've seen are positively beautiful.

    Love that you're protecting the Monarch larvae. We have seen a few butterflies here lately and the bees are getting drunk on the fermented apples along the canal.

    Have a great weekend, my friend.

  12. Anonymous7:43 pm GMT-4

    The rudibeckia looks great! Mine are already beginning to fade a tiny bit.

  13. You have a beautiful yard Ruth. I just started picking ripe tomatoes less than a week ago too, but now they're really starting to come in fast!
    Good luck with your monarch caterpillars.


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